New York City Budget Friendly Travel Tips

Free entertainment! Show tapings

Plan four to six weeks ahead of your trip to start requesting show taping tickets.

Unlike the old days when it was a lottery system or tickets had to be reserved a year in advance shows have opted to use 1OATA and online ticketing/scheduling app. Jimmy Fallon, The View, Kelly and Ryan, Dr. Oz, The Chew release their tickets online about a month prior to taping. Pick what you want and check often as the shows are often posted daily. I recently attended The View and Kelly and Ryan and highly reccomend.

Of course you can always try your hand at standby and arrive super early. I have successfully been accepted into David Letterman and Kelly and Regis tapings being standby in the past. Saturday Night Live still distributes their tickets by seasonal lottery so if you are without tickets your only option is standby. Tickets are distributed at 7am on the 48th street side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza on the mornings of a show. There is an 8pm dress rehearsal or the 11:30pm live broadcast. It takes a lot of time waiting in line and there is always the chance of not getting in. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Museums: Suggested donation

My wallet sugests that I will donate $1. Make sure you go to a teller this deal is not available through a computer kiosk. Admittance is usually suggested at $20+. Do not pay more out of fear or embarrassment. Some rich benefactor will donate enough for the Musuem to keep it’s doors open. That doesn’t need to be you.

American Museum of Natural History

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Unlimited attraction pass

It costs a bit of money but if you plan on attending a few attractions on the offers list it more than pays for itself. You have options of one, two, three or five days. One was perfect for us as it starts to add up quickly with multiple days. There are several different passes out there.

Check it out here:

Sightseeing Pass

Dining tips

Happy hour specials are a must for any boozy encounter. Full price drinks are for suckers!

Opt for a late lunch-early dinner. Not only will you skip the busiest dining time you will get to eat off the less expensive menu. $1 pizza slices are pretty amazing too for a quick bite.

Subway vs Taxi vs Uber

As a Toronto resident I absolutely detest cabs. It’s a real shocker that I’m professing taxis are my favourite NYC transportation; you get to stick your hand out and wave them down, fares are low, always available, names and licenses are displayed, have a TV with digital map of your route and they are not allowed to discriminate against a short distance. Cabs and Ubers are ideal for your quick drives or hard to get to places. If you have the time the subway is still king for distance. When I was last in New York they had three and five day subway passes but now the only option is a seven day pass. Ubers are always great anywhere you go but they may not know the roads as well as a taxi driver.


Shows can be expensive! Tkts is a cheaper option the day of show but lines at the Times Square location can be heinous. There is another location at South Street Seaport. It is a little out of the way but it’s not busy and you can work it into your itinerary when downtown. Off Broadway is highly recommended getting all the bang with a little less of the buck.

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